May 26th, 2009 – New York – The Senate Health Committee approved legislation today that would legalize marijuana for medical use. But the bill still has to go through the Senate Codes Committee before getting to the floor for a vote. If passed, seriously ill patients would be able to have up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and 12 mature plants. It has been used to relieve nausea, increase appetite, reduce muscle spasms and reduce chronic pain in patients with debilitating illnesses.

This is the first year the legislation has a chance of passing the Assembly and Senate. The Assembly has passed bills before, but this is the first time identical bills have the support of the political party in control in both houses. Democrats have long controlled the Assembly, but the last time Democrats were in charge of the Senate before this year was 1965.

Senate Health Committee Chairman Thomas Duane, D-Manhattan, said the committee received a memorandum in support of the legislation from the Medical Society of the State of New York. It has received memos in opposition from the state Conservative Party, the Drug-Free Schools Coalition in New York and the New York Society of Addiction Medicine.

The medical marijuana legislation in the Assembly was reported by the Health Committee and now sits in the Codes Committee. It is not on the latter committee’s meeting agenda for tomorrow.
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